Tripoli Southern Minnesota   Chapter #112

Launch Report - July 22, 2006

launch report

TSM couldn’t have asked for nicer weather for the July launch. The fields of Maple Island were calm, providing a gentle breeze to wisp the AP smoke down range as the rockets found their way to the skies overhead.

Tom was quick to get his Extreme UFFO in the sky. It took a slow and steady path vertical and found its way home just east of the launch line. I was hoping the UFFO would make an encore flight; the first one was quite mesmerizing with its slow rise off the pad to perhaps a couple hundred feet up at most.

Craig brought Packer Graphics back to Maple Island; the last time the Packer Graphics graced the grounds of the Island it found itself one with the power lines last fall. This time it had no problem finding its way home after a very nice flight on a G60 to about 1500 feet.

The Shearer family had two rockets in their arsenal of propellant fun. The first was a neat rocket glider that had a low successful flight with the glider deploying for a glide into the corn runway. Later a V2, that had a characteristic London-bound take off and a nice flight.

Andy led his Got Thrust rocket from the preflight barn and coaxed it to the pad, The Cow appeared to trust Andy with an H148R motor strapped to its back, but any rancher would know better. The poor Cow found itself moooving towards the earth without chute deployment and branded itself into the ground. Cattleman Andy claims Got Thrust only had a broken hoof. We shall await a report from the vet and see if the cow makes it back in August.

Two folks had certification flights at the launch. Kelsey certified on Level 1 with an outstanding flight by a rocket called Mini Grease on an H180 to a projected altitude of 800 feet. Then Craig certified Level 2 on his Iris, flying to 3600 feet on a J350! Congratulations to both members on some fine flyin'!

Ron had his modified Nike packed with onboard real-time GPS downlink; at the same time Pete had his Litl' John loaded with onboard video. Pete’s onboard timer was set to go off within minutes after finding its way to the pad and Ron was burning a heck of a lot of amps on pad 5. Before batteries went dead on the Nike we got it up in the air and Ron had successful telemetry beaming down. The Nike deployed the drogue chute as expected but the main chute didn’t pop until the Nike must have been somewhere near 25 feet from the ground. A spike in the data from the downlink might even call the deployment closer to the ground than that, but a fine flight.

Soon after the Nike found its way home the Litl’ John was launched and the crowd mugged for the camera as the rocket sped to 6000 feet. Pete had been in a rocketry slump with this rocket and was ready to break the string of bad luck. But as fate had it, the onboard recorder was not secured properly to prevent it from being ejected from the rocket. Some point after deployment the recorder left the airframe and deposited itself into the brush, near Scott who got a good look at the landing area. A search crew combed the site and before the days end, the recorder was recovered. Pete took it back to the lab for investigation. Pete wrote a nice note to the folks who helped in the search.

Richard flew his Stretch Aurora and found that 10 foot tall corn and a yagi antenna do not work well together. We did see Richard return with the rocket, but he looked quite glazed from being in the corn that long. His speech appeared mostly coherent, but wild eyes and corn silk in his hair led us to believe he might need some attention beyond the scope of the resident rocket scientist. We hope he recovers quickly and gets back to the August launch.

Craig flew his mantis off Pad 3 for a nice flight, but had different results with his Eclipe, pronounced E-Clip-pay, the french version of the Eclipse, which had some airframe issue from a previous launch. E-Clip-pay looked to have a great flight, but with no deployment, E-Clip-pay lawn darted itself into the northwest fields. The onboard transmitter worked through the crash and Craig was able to recover most, or perhaps some of the E-Clip-pay. We all hoped the French version would somehow be replaced by a short, maybe abbreviated offspring, perhaps ECL, pronounced (easel).

Visiting rocketeer Bill from North Branch flew a Bull Puppy. TJ flew a Patriot on an Animal Motor Works Skidmark which left the pad with telltale sparks in a nice flight. Paul flew his IO, but experienced nosecone separation. Recovery appeared to be successful.

Not to neglect the low power birds; Jessica flew her Big Betty, and Jeff flew his Callisto with a very nice paint job, Tom flew America Standing Tall, Andy flew the Arreaux, and Terry sacrificed his slow and steady to the rocket gods in a 'now you see it now you don’t' flight.

Along with the great certification flights, a highlight of the launch was Warren’s first two stage attempt. His Thunder & Lightning was powered by an I284 to H242 combination, with a projected altitude of 5570 feet. The flight was awesome with perfect staging. Warren receives the "Yes I am a Rocket Scientist" award on that flight. Truly a great flight!

Once again, we had a great day at the fields of Maple Island, Our Rocket Grill Maven served an awesome lunch, folks helped set up the launch site and tear it down, and at the end of the day we even found Pete’s video recorder. Thanks again for everyone’s help and special thanks the Gary who has been at the fields of Maple Island religiously to help with all aspects of the launches. Gary will to be heading to Wisconsin to a new Job so we will miss his presence at our launches in the future. Once again, thanks Gary for all the help. TSM is proud to have you as a lifetime member, always welcome on the fields of Maple Island if the rocketry winds bring you back for a visit.

Also thanks to Terry for some great pictures used in the launch reports!

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